Earlier this summer, Google announced that it will roll out new search updates in 2021. The shift focuses strongly on overall site performance and user page experience, but could cause many websites to lose much of their existing traffic.
To prevent your business from becoming invisible in search, it’s important to understand what ranking factors will be part of the new focus. Making changes now will help you stay ahead of the curve—and the competition.
Understanding AMP and how your site will be impacted
Also known as Accelerated Mobile Pages, AMP is an open-source HTML framework that offers a relatively straightforward way to create fast-loading web pages for mobile users.
AMP can help ensure your site is front-and-center in search results. However, once the new Google updates are made, if your site isn't loading fast enough on both desktop and mobile devices, it may only be visible for direct users (people plugging your website address into search browsers. And invisible in organic search (people looking for similar services through web browser search).
Additionally, Google’s new updates will build page experience metrics into Google’s ranking criteria for the Top Stories features in mobile search—and remove the AMP requirement from Top Stories carousel eligibility. (Top Stories are the tiles you see at the top of search results pages).
Search rank essentials
In the coming year, Google will put a strong emphasis on several important ranking factors. Here’s a look at that criteria, and why they matter to your business:
- Overall page load speed: Desktop speeds are relatively easy to fix and optimize. In comparison, mobile page speed improvements are more complex and involve additional time and effort in order to elicit positive results.
- The mobile-friendliness of your pages: AMP’s main purpose is to help web pages load faster on mobile-friendly devices. In the ever-evolving state of the internet, enhancing your existing AMP content and/or creating new AMP content can mean more robust mobile search results.
- Web hosting: You may not realize it, but your website service provider can have a big impact on your site’s SEO. A good, trustworthy, and reputable web hosting company will ensure your site can be accessed by all visitors (on all platforms), operates well, loads quickly, and more.
If your web host is low-quality, they can make your pages load slowly—contributing to SEO dings, increased bounce rates, and more.
- SEO keyword research, targeting, and optimization: SEO keyword research is the process of finding all of the possible search engine queries that are relevant to your business and customers. This type of keyword research not only includes identifying search terms, but also includes sorting and prioritizing those keywords into logical, related groups. Once organized, this information can inform and shape how you might change existing pages on your website or create new content.
While some search engine optimizers may argue that keywords are no longer important or won’t be essential in the future, we don’t agree. Here’s why: SEO is crucial to search engine ranking, and to understand the search intent behind any given query.
As long as people leverage search engines by typing a query into a search box or using a voice assistant like Siri or Alexa, SEO will continue to be king. And, as a result, it will be important for you and your business to understand:
- What those search queries are.
- How important specific search queries are to your specific business.
- How you and your business can identify the best possible content to effectively respond to each search query.
Even as search trends change, if consumers are looking for an answer to “something”, keywords will continue to matter.
Start boosting your site’s success now
When it comes to helping optimize your website, staying on top of important search changes, and ideating marketing strategies for your site, The Branding Agency can be an ideal business partner.
We’ll help you successfully manage Google’s shifting search updates, as well as find new ways to make an immediate and positive impact on your website—and give you a leg-up on your competition.
As an alternative to high-priced, traditional advertising firms, we’re able to offer unique and individualized services. Give us a call at (704) 800-7413 to learn more about how we can help improve your site’s success today.